Special retirement supplement and Social Security


Q. I am looking at retiring next year in FERS as a federal firefighter with 30 years of service at age 53. I will receive the special retirement supplement. Until I turn 62, I will not be (possibly) paying into Social Security, so does that reduce the amount of Social Security I will receive according to my current projected Social Security payments at age 62? If I’m not paying into Social Security during the period before drawing Social Security affects the rate, does that change at age 57 when the earning limitations for Social Security hit even though you are not paying into Social Security? Or is my Social Security statement set due to my firefighter retirement? Lastly, my TSP funds will be taxed as I receive payments as they were tax-deferred, but will they count against the earning limitations for Social Security? Will it make a difference if I purchase an annuity, roll it to another fund or just take a regular monthly payment from TSP in regard to how it relates to Social Security?

A. As a special category retiree, you will be immediately entitled to the special retirement supplement. Between when you retire and when you reach your minimum retirement age, you may earn as much as you want without it affecting your SRS. After that date, you’ll be subject to the annual Social Security earnings limit. Only earnings from wages and self-employment count against the limit.

I have no idea how the gap between your retirement and the date on which you apply for a Social Security benefit will affect the amount of that benefit.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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